On Saturday 2nd April Sandy and I went to the Wirral as guests of Mark Mitchell and his family, they invited me to share challenge from God’s Word and the ministry of CMA at a Men’s Breakfast at a local hotel. Mark hosts the breakfast, which was so well attended (usually 300) they had to turn away those who hadn’t pre booked. We had a large number of local CMA members present and we had opportunity to chat with the men afterwards. Mark is a Christian businessman and highly respected in the area.
On the 9th April Sandy and I attended the Motorcycle Action Group Annual Group Meeting which took place in Barnsley, West Yorkshire - we had been invited by the MAG Chair Selina Lavender to receive an award on behalf of CMA UK for services to the motorcycle community. The response of those present to CMA’s award was very touching. We must maintain the standards that have been established and push the boundaries to impact other areas of motorcycling in similar ways.
I attended the CMA UK National AGM at the Salvation Army Rushden near Bedford, the meeting was a great success and the weekend provides opportunity to meet with branches, members and supporters. I was invited by our AGM hosts to preach on Sunday morning. The whole weekend was one of unity in diversity, especially the business meeting which Brian handled brilliantly. Thank you to Bedford Branch for their excellent organisation. We look forward to the AGM at Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland next year.
On Saturday 23rd April Sandy and I were involved in leading sessions at the Scottish Regional Day held near Hamilton, south of Glasgow we had a very positive day and a good turn out. We are already looking forward to next year’s event. On Sunday morning I was invited to preach at Fraser and Roberta’s fellowship ‘The Potter’s Church’ Stewarton, East Ayreshire, the challenging Word I brought was warmly received.
5th – 7th May I joined the North Cheshire/ South Lancs branches at the NABD Rally (National Association of Bikers with a Disability) near Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, the team worked very well together and their passion to reach the lost is evident. I had to leave on Saturday to head off to Northern Ireland. John Finan needs a special mention for feeding the CMA team.
9th May I was involved in outreach at the North West 200 Road Races at Portrush in Northern Ireland, there were members from the Northern Ireland and Carlisle branches. We had a stand in the paddock which was ideally situated close to the race teams where all the public pass through; it was a very successful week. On Sunday prior to my ferry I was invited to preach at Lisburn Community Church near Belfast.
Between Friday 27th – Monday 30th May Sandy and I joined the CMA team travelling to the World Horizons French base near Lille, it was a very positive weekend organised by David Gallagher (World Horizons – Llanelli) involving members/supporters from Bristol, North East, East Yorkshire, East Mids, Norfolk, West Yorkshire. We met a WH team at the base from South Korea reaching out to the immigrants. On Sunday morning I was invited to preach at Warvin Community Church near Lille, the service was promoted as a biker event, the rain was torrential but it didn’t deter us. The Pastor Rob and his wife Sylvia (who kindly translated my sermon) worked with WH for thirty years and were thrilled with CMA’s input we have been invited back for future trips. It is a privilege to visit those on the mission field and encourage them. The weather on our return journey was gale force winds which made life very interesting especially when a huge tarpaulin blew off a HGV in front of Sandy and I as we led the team back to Calais, thankfully we were able to avoid it and warn the other bikes. This trip is ideal for anyone who hasn’t previously ridden abroad we always ride in small groups and visit local places of interest. Highly recommended. Look out for information for next years trip and book early.
Between 2nd - 9th June I led an outreach at the Isle of Man TT Road Races, I was joined by members of Carlisle Branch, East Yorks and supported by ex CMA members who live on the island. Over the years I have built close relationships with churches, local Christians, race marshals and key people involved in the TT. This year I was invited to speak at a biker service at Trinity Methodist Church in Douglas, it became clear that God had a plan in the life of a young local biker. He brought his Christian friend Hannah to the church with no intention of staying but Grace drew him. Everything I spoke of challenged his heart and we sat for an hour after the meeting and talked it through. I prayed with them both and feel sure that one day he will know the Lord that knows him. One tragedy of the TT are the deaths of those who race and those visitors who try to emulate their heroes. A well known racer Paul Shoesmith was involved in a fatal accident near where we were watching, it was very sad. I was able to chat with some marshals that I know who were involved and advised them to attend the counselling sessions the TT organisers provide. On Mad Sunday morning I was asked to be involved in Sulby Methodist Church service, each year they also ask me to decorate a church window to represent the ministry of CMA. On Tuesday of race week we run a Biker Bible stand at Ramsey Sprint – the organisers Straightliners are very positive about our involvement and never charge me to be on site. We had over 150 people ask for Biker Bibles. Next year is the 110th anniversary and numerous CMA members have indicated their intention to join us including the President and Treasurer of CMA New Zealand. I’m pleased to say that the Carlisle branch and Steve Parker (CMA member and ex racer who lives on the island) are planning to have the first CMA Biker Bible stand at the TT Classic (previously known as the Manx Grand Prix) on Jurby Day. This is very exciting and will become an annual event.
On Saturday 10th June I led a ride out for the NE Branch to the Yorkshire Dales – (100 miles) then I continued south to Silverstone. I had been asked to preach at Silverstone for the Towcester Branch at a Biker Service, we had a great time together and clearly many were challenged. The weather was cold and wet – nice!
On Thursday 16th June I set up the huge Holy Joes Café at the MAG Farmyard Party Rally, Duncombe Park, Helmsley North Yorkshire only 35 minutes from where we live. We had approximately 40 members of CMA on our team to run a 24hr Holy Joes and marshal the ‘No fires campground’ for MAG. The four days went very well and gave us some significant conversations with bikers, the rally organisers and a chance for me to get to know new members and hear their hearts for the ministry. This year we felt even closer to the MAG Rally organisers and truly a part of the team as a whole. I tend to get approx. 3-4 hours sleep in each 24hrs at this rally but God carries us through. It was a great success. Barry Dobson is a new member from the North East Branch his response was ‘I consider it an honour to serve God in the ministry of CMA, it was my first farmyard and it was fantastic. The opportunities to share were amazing.’ Lord please send more hearts like that…. what was it Wesley said “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.”
Between the 24th-26th June Sandy and I travelled to North Wales to celebrate the wedding of Stephen Hughes-Burton and his wife Lianne. On Sunday morning I was invited to preach in Bob and Dawn’s church in Criccieth, the challenging Word was well received and hearts were changed.
I continue to organise the CMA UK National Rally at Lenchwood Christian Centre between 22nd-24th July. The pre booked numbers on the 22nd June were as follows: Pre bookings number to date - 129 I am working on the itinerary and finalising details of the rally. Sandi Buss is doing an excellent job compiling the Registration data and now has a team to assist her. We have Dutch and Belgium friends coming over again. There will be a minutes silence at the rally to remember the tragic death of Jon Pol (CMA Netherlands) who was involved in a road accident after the rally last year.
Since our last meeting I have again seen my Orthopaedic Specialist who confirmed that my surgery has been successful and any residue aches and pains will eventually clear up. I feel much stronger and we have begun cycling to build up my stamina for the travelling and often long hours my role requires. On the 27th April we bought a 2013 BMW 1200 GS Adventure with just 2,000 miles on the clock, in the past two months the mileage is now 5,400!
I have been invited to preach at this years EMC Rally by the host club ‘The Covered Backs For Him’ which takes place between 4th-7th August near Tarragona near Barcelona, Spain. I feel honoured and pray that God places His Word in my heart. Following this year’s EMC Rally we shall be taking leave to tour the Pyrenees on the bike and relax.